New Certificate Program Development Procedure

4240.1 Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Certificate Program Proposals

Before approving or revising a certificate program, the proposal must be reviewed by all departments and program units that may be affected by the proposed program. In cases where a certificate is significantly similar to existing programs, scheduling/faculty/resource implications must be specifically addressed. Programs that require new resources/staff or significant utilization of existing resources/staff must address sustainability and resource impact of the proposed program.

The requirements for certificate programs may vary considerably across departments or program units. In order to ensure consistency from program to program, those preparing and approving proposals for a new program must observe the following format and guidelines:

  1. Title. Tile of Program and college or school and department responsible for administering the program.
  2. Description. Proposals must include an undergraduate catalog description of the certificate program.
  3. Objectives. Proposals must provide a clear statement of the objectives and student learning outcomes of the program and the method by which the achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed.
  4. Admission Requirements. Proposals must clearly indicate requirements for admission from the program, including (as appropriate) required prerequisite coursework, GPA requirements, etc.
  5. Program Requirements. Proposals must specify the program of study, including course requirements, any electives/options, and total credit hours required. Certificate programs that require a summative evaluation (such as a comprehensive examination or portfolio review) must make clearly specific the evaluation requirements and procedure.
  6. Program Quality. Proposals must address how the proposed program of study and evaluation mechanisms meet and ensure successful completion of program objectives. The faculty body responsible for overseeing the quality of the program must be explicitly identified. Proposals must indicate any requirements for maintaining the quality of student performance and continuation in the program for successful completion of the certificate. This should include the following:
    • Student GPA and/or performance in a specific course or set of course required to continue/progress in program
    • Time limits for completion, including need for continuous registration
    • Criteria for reapplying if necessary
    • Acceptance of previous experience, including Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or credit by examination (e.g., CLEP)